PADS Lake County leader Cathy Curran dead at 61

  • PADS Lake County Executive Director Cathy Curran

    PADS Lake County Executive Director Cathy Curran

Updated 10/25/2012 6:18 PM

PADS Lake County Executive Director Cathy Curran is being remembered as a compassionate woman dedicated to helping the homeless.

"She did it because she wanted to help people," PADS board member Randy Rossi said. "And there's not many people left like that these days."


Curran, 61, of Highland Park, died unexpectedly Wednesday after experiencing chest pains at the agency's North Chicago office.

She was pronounced dead in the emergency room at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, where she'd been taken by ambulance, the Lake County coroner's office said. An autopsy is not planned.

Curran had been at PADS since 2002. Employees were stunned by her death, Rossi said.

"Everybody is just in shock," he said.

With seasonal, temporary centers throughout Lake County, PADS provides overnight shelter and other services for homeless people and families. Some of the agency's clients said they hope to attend Curran's funeral, Rossi reported.

Lake County Board member Mary Ross Cunningham, a Waukegan Democrat, worked with Curran to help get homeless people indoors during the winter. She said she'd spoken with Curran by phone Tuesday about getting funding for summertime shelters, too.

"I am hurt today," Cunningham said. "That lady cared about Lake County."

A service is set for 12:15 p.m. Monday in the chapel at Shalom Memorial Park, 1700 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights.

Curran's survivors include her husband and three children.

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